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Rep. says leaders require passion
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-1, says it will take strong leaders to make the tough decisions necessary to keep the nation fit.

He spoke to more than 100 students at College of Coastal Georgia's Stembler Theater Tuesday about the importance of leadership as America continues to pull itself out of the Great Recession.

Kingston said expenditures like more than $300 million for military bands, $30 million for the Blue Angels and $20 million to sponsor a NASCAR race car are examples of spending that could be put to better use elsewhere.

"We have to cut spending and we have to do it with a consensus," he said.

The challenge for American leaders in the next decade will be to address those in a reasonable way, Kingston said, adding that leadership starts with passion and is carried forward by education.

"America, with all of its problems, is still the greatest country in the world as far as opportunity goes," he said.

The students he spoke to all have the ability to be leaders, Kingston said, but they first must find what they love to do.

He said he discovered a love for economics, eventually majoring in the subject after taking a class at the University of Georgia taught by then graduate assistant Skip Mounts, who is now a professor and dean of the school of business and public affairs.

Mounts was in the audience Tuesday.

He encouraged the students to find their passion and pursue it through education the way he did.

"In the wild West, six-shooters were the great equalizer," he said. "Education today is the great equalizer."

Students asked Kingston about drilling for oil domestically.

"I ride my bike to work every day. It is an 11-mile ride," Kingston said, adding he is an advocate of developing alternative fuel sources.

He is also an advocate of drilling domestically because it would keep money in the country, make America less dependent on others and would be done more environmentally friendly than it is in other nations.

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